September 16, 2007

New Book: Hillstrom's Multichannel Forensics

Well, the cat is out of the bag!

This morning, I received an e-mail from Amazon.

The e-mail said because I previously purchased a book from a different database marketing author, I might be interested in a book being released on September 30, called "Hillstrom's Multichannel Forensics".

I am interested in the book. I AM THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK!!!!

I'm guessing I'm not the only person Amazon sent this e-mail to. So it is time to share with you what this new book is all about.

The text is the culmination of twelve years of research into how customers behave in a multichannel environment. Twelve years ago, e-commerce began to impact, then influence, then usurp catalog marketing. Peers at competing retailers and catalogers shared their frustration with me about understanding customer behavior in a multichannel environment.

Vendors and Research Organizations shared multichannel customer facts and figures that were impressive. They seldom told us meaningful information that helped us understand our customers. And if they had meaningful information, you can be sure the information would be highly monetized!

I felt compelled to create a methodology, a framework, for understanding and explaining multichannel customer behavior (in a b2b or a b2c environment).

I strongly believed the methodology should do two different things.

First, the methodology had to explain how customers interacted with advertising, products, brands and channels ... in a way that a CEO or Executive Vice President could understand.

Second, the methodology had to illustrate how sales within products, brands or channels will evolve over the next five years. This allows the CEO or EVP to make decisions today that limit future business challenges.

The combination of these factors became "Multichannel Forensics".

The perfect laboratory for testing this methodology came during my tenure at Nordstrom. In 2005, we eliminated our catalog marketing program. I used this framework, this methodology, to illustrate what would happen to online and retail net sales growth if catalogs were no longer there to support those channels.

The methodology worked!

Since beginning my own consulting practice in March, I've completed multichannel forensics projects for thirteen brands/titles. I'm continually pleased with the way CEOs and EVPs react to the methodology. I'm proud of the way the methodology forecasts what is likely to happen in the future. I love giving business leaders tools they can use to quell challenges from the Board of Directors, or Ownership Team.

There are three ways you can learn about multichannel forensics.
  • You can read this blog. I will continue to give examples of how the methodology can be used in real-life settings.
  • You can read the white paper, which goes into some level of detail on the topic.
  • You can buy the book, and learn the nuts and bolts of the methodology. I want for you to be able to do these projects yourself!
  • Of course, you can hire me to do a project for you.
I spend considerable time in the book outlining three-channel situations (i.e. catalog/online/retail or telemarketing/catalog/online, as examples). Two-channel and three-channel situations are very common, hence the focus on these topics.

I do not go into the complex simulation algorithms that I use to understand the interaction between, say, ten merchandise divisions and three channels. The concepts in the book are illustrated at a level that allows the reader to build the simulations, if desired.

How might you benefit from this book?
  • CEOs and EVPs will learn the current trajectory of the business they manage, and will learn how they might mitigate negative trends.
  • E-Mail Marketers will learn how their oft-criticized discipline builds long-term sales growth.
  • Catalog Marketers will precisely learn the value of catalog marketing in a multichannel environment, in a way that matchback analyses cannot possibly explain.
  • Online Marketers will finally be able to show retail leadership how online customers become retail customers, demonstrating how comp store sales growth is influenced by the online channel.
  • Web Analytics practitioners and Business Intelligence analysts will be able to see how customer behavior can be analyzed longitudinally (over time), providing value that goes well beyond individual session metrics.
  • Multichannel Vendors will be able to identify ways they can provide additional value to the clients they support, value that is targeted at the CEO/EVP level.

Amazon is allowing pre-orders of the book in anticipation of a September 30 release date. In the next two weeks, the book will be available on my publisher's website ... Obviously, Amazon is not part of the purchase process if you purchase the book from my publisher's website, Amazon's profit is reallocated among those who invested time, energy and money in creation of the book.

I invite you to learn more about Multichannel Forensics. Do so at no cost by downloading the white paper, or purchase the book! My thanks go to Don Libey for shepherding this book and my first book (Hillstrom's Database Marketing), for giving the little guy a chance!


  1. Anonymous6:00 AM

    Congratulations on this accomplishment Kevin - I look forward to reading the book.

  2. Kevin,

    Congrats--I can't wait to read it!

    Will you be doing a blog book tour? Please give us the dates and sites.

    And FYI, the book is not yet posted on

  3. I am very impressed! Good job, Kevin. Did you ever think that you'd author a book in your lifetime, much less two? Congratulations. I'm going to Amazon to look at it right now.

  4. Anonymous2:05 PM

    How nice! Congratulations Kevin!!

    I am very happy for you and I can't wait to read the book.


    PS: I really love the cover, simple yet complex and beautiful.

  5. Shoe / Warren / Suzanne / Avinash ... thanks for the nice comments!

    The book will be posted on forbetterbooks at some point over the next two weeks.

    I didn't know if I'd write books or not. I've always written, however, so I suppose it isn't unlikely to suggest that I'd have written two books.

    As for a blog/book tour, we really don't market the books outside of this blog. We generally let the book stand on its own merits ... we're really low budget!


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